GP says there is no link between hypothyroidism & low b12, ferritin, folate etc? Any research links please?


I saw my gp this week requesting a raise in my levothyroxine. I've come back feeling rather cross.

He said it's a myth that starting Levo will reduce fatigue symptoms, that in most cases it doesn't. Basically he seemed to be saying that fatigue isn't really a symptom of underactive thyroid.

he also made me cross because he saw a copy of 'understanding thyroid disorders' by Dr Toft in my bag & said in a quite sarcastic voice 'oh, you'll know more than me about it all soon then' . I very nearly replied 'it seems I already do'.

Next he reassured me that I could have another thyroid blood test to see if my levels had returned to 'normal', if they aren't it's because my thyroid is continuing to fail not because he has prescribed me such a lose dose in the first place (25mcg).

Anyway I also asked about being tested for ferritin, folate, vitd, b12 as I had read that they are often low in people with hypothyroidism. He said no there is no link. Went off on one about everyone's d level would be low at this time of year because you don't get vit d from the food you eat but the sun. ( Obviously he has decided I am an imbecile with no knowledge whatsoever.) He also stated saying well you should have been taking bit d sups when you were breastfeeding (i was). I think he may have put me firmly in the 'out there' category as I was still breastfeeding my boy when he was over two years old (shock, horror!).

Anyone know of any good research links I can show him regarding low ferritin, b12 etc?

He instead said he would test me for type 1 diabetes & coeliac disease. He seems insistent that my symptoms are not thyroid related even though my bloods & thyroid scan show otherwise.

Help me try to educate my gp please before I cut my loses & switch to another.

19 Replies

  • If you do a search on this forum for a thread title "more on ferritin and folate " theres 2 research papers that show your GP is an ignorant fool

    if you do a google scholar search using. Hypothyroid +ferritin

    hypothyroid +folate. Etc etc

    you can print off loads of acredited scientific research papers to bung under his nose

  • Thank reallyfedup I will take a look. Knew you'd come up trumps. So frustrating to have to go down this route. He was such a smug so & so not sure if he will read it anyway.

  • No need to worry - I have the team prepped ready to go. They will steal his thyroid gland as he sleeps....he WILL know what it feels like!!!!!!!


  • Plus you wont provide ANY medication for him. ooooh :)

  • Thank jezebel & shawls, it mighty be the only answer. 😉

  • He really has a cheek - 25mcg levo and he says that fatigue isn't really a symptom of underactive thyroid. He might be well be right about the symptom not being 'underactive' - it is because your are undermedicated. He sounds quite arrogant.

    If he doesn't want to take Dr Toft's advice I think you'd be better off without him. Dr Toft's advice may not be perfect for us who are struggling but it's the only thing we have. It is amazing that our guidelines in the UK are the strictest in the world. Why - I have no idea as they make patients wait until they are so very unwell.

    I would send a copy of the following report to your GP and say that you will have to take the matter further if you develop any other problems - aside from hypothyroidism - as I don't think he really understand the consequences of his actions?

  • Just change your GP. He's outlined his position already, and it's unlikely to change. I was able to stay at the same practice, you might be able to as well. He has made it pretty clear he is not prepared to be your advocate, which is what they are meant to do. Speak to your practice manager and say you've lost confidence in him.

  • I agree! You can't educate an arrogant idiot like that. He would never be able to admit he was wrong.

    It's you that is important, not him. Save your own life by changing doctors and to hell with him! It's every man for himself when we're dealing with thyroid, I'm afraid. Except on here, of course! lol

  • I agree, this is the first thing I thought when reading the post. If you go to big practice all you have to do is make sure you don't get your appointments with with him? At my place I've got a list of people to avoid, and a list of people who are a soft touch. Unfortunately none who are actually good ;)

  • Ack, it's hard, isn't it? Fascinating too that we come away from encounters like this prepared to do the research that will show doctors they're wrong - when blanket statements like "it makes no difference" should be challenged right there and then. turns into one of those "I wish I'd had the sense to say, "Really? Could you point me to the research that shows it makes no difference so I can educate a whole forum of thyroid sufferers?" Because he wouldn't have been able to point to that research.

    He's a numpty who clearly understands nothing about thyroid disorders. Cut and run - find another GP. You're going to get nowhere with this one.

  • Cut your losses and change your GP.

    It will save you a lot of stress and heartache.

    Sadly, many GPs adopt this attitude when they don't know.

    There are good GPs out there who know better than the one you have.

    Good luck.

  • I do find it amazing how funny clinicians can get when they just don't know the answer. Usually just that that whatever you think or have done is at fault.

  • Just done some searching and I restricted my search (mainly) to papers published in the last 5 years unless something caught my eye that was earlier :

    The above link is interesting - it suggests treating subclinical hypothyroidism when sufferers have iron-deficiency anaemia as well and don't respond to treatment for it. I think most doctors would fall off their chair if someone suggested that course of action to them.

    I love the first sentence in the above link. :)

    It is possible I've linked to the same paper more than once, but from different sources. My apologies if I have.

  • Just to say, don't forget Thyroid UK's main web-site.

    I always go here for information and advice first

    The Role of Vitamins in Thyroid Deficiency

    The following link advises where to acquire your supplements.

  • Just wanted to say well done for breast feeding so long. My daughter in law is still breast feeding my 3 year old grandaughter it just seems so natural. I know it's not for everyone but we shouldn't knock it when it works out!

  • tjtjtj.

    Do tell your Doctor that as my Levothyroxine was upped my tiredness got less, once optimally medicated with levothyroxine my tiredness was no longer. :)

  • Thanks for the support & info everyone. You may well be right about swapping gp. I'm a bit gutted as he's only been my gp for about a year. I had my previous one for about 25 years. He was very good & would always admit he didn't have in-depth knowledge of all conditions & would happily openly research something with me or refer if needed. Sadly he retired & has been replaced with this somewhat arrogant one.

  • Your GP is a tool. NHS i presume?

    I limit engagement with the Nasty Health Service GP as much as i can. I save up my money and my issues and see a "proper" (private) GP when i can afford to.

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